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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Researchers in Taiwan Look for Signs of Spanish Formosa

Monday, May 13, 2019

KEELUNG CITY, TAIWAN—Focus Taiwan reports that a blue and white porcelain medicine bottle dating to the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) was among the artifacts discovered on Heping Island, which is located off the northern coast of Taiwan, by a team of Spanish and Taiwanese researchers. The other artifacts include Neolithic bone and shell tools and Iron-Age ceramic tiles decorated with cord impressions. Tsang Cheng-hwa of Tsing Hua University said the team members are looking for traces of Spanish Formosa, a colony established in the area in the 1620s. The Spanish intended San Salvador, the fort at the site, to protect their interests in the shipping route between China and the Philippines, but eventually the fort was handed over to the Dutch in 1642. To read in-depth about historical archaeology in East Asia, go to "Letter From Singapore: The Lion City's Glorious Past."

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